philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Presenting the Best of CES 2021 winners!

The cream of the crop in 14 categories, plus Best of the Best and the winner of our People's Choice reader poll.

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Augmented Realty Art Fest From the Comfort of Your Living Room

On Tuesday, Acute Art and Dazed Media announced that the UK capital’s popular Unreal City exhibition will be viewable from home via your smartphone for the next month. Originally scheduled to run from December 8 to January 5, the high-tech show, which is accessible via the free Acute Art app, will now run through February 9.

Unreal City consists of 36 AR works from artists from all over the globe, including never before seen pieces from KAWS, Bjarne Melgaard and Tomás Saraceno. While the virtual sculptures were all site-specific before—they were positioned in 24 locations between the Waterloo and Millennium Bridges along London’s south bank—you can now view them anywhere, even in your own home or condo. And even though the exhibition was originally organized for UK residents, it’s now been opened to the entire world.

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Roam the Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum via Augmented Reality

The museum collaborated with Verizon to launch the Met Unframed, which allows you to navigate through a dozen digitally rendered galleries and view nearly 50 works from the Met’s collection.

All you have to do is visit the Met Unframed website and scan a barcode with your phone to enter an immersive, hyperrealistic version of the iconic museum. Online visitors can navigate through a dozen digitally rendered galleries and view nearly 50 works from the Met’s collection. Those who have access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network will be able to unlock a feature that makes some of the artworks interactive.

The AR website was designed in partnership with the production studio Unit9, drawing from the Met’s existing digital resources. For example, the studio’s 3D artists based their convincing renderings of the galleries and artworks on the Met’s vast collection of images, many of which are available for free use.

The featured games include trivia questions and riddles that encourage close observation of the artworks and labels. A game called “Analysis” uses the Met’s infrared and X-ray conservation scans of paintings to reveal underdrawings and other hidden details of well-known paintings.

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At CES 2021, These Haptic Gloves Could Change Virtual Reality Training Forever

A Dutch start-up, SenseGlove debuted its new haptic feedback gloves at the opening of the all-digital Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, January 11, 2021.

The new gloves, SenseGlove Novawere designed explicitly for professional virtual reality (VR) training purposes. The haptic gloves use a stretchable, easy-to-put-on material that enables smooth hand tracking that allows users to more easily feel shapes, textures, stiffness, impact and resistance in VR.

The glove has four “brakes” for four fingers from the thumb to the ring finger, with each ‘brake’ delivering up to 20 Newton of force. This force is equivalent to the weight of a 4.4 pound (two kilograms) of brick on each finger. According to SenseGlove, this makes for unparalleled force feedback.

Citing Ford Motor Company’s decision to begin using VR to connect designers to inspect vehicles from home as part of remote collaboration under the stay at homework orders, den Butter says that haptic gloves like SenseGlove Nova improve immersion in these simulations.

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Get ready for really low-power AI: Synaptics and Eta Compute envision neural nets that observe every sound, motion

In a bid to make inroads into the industrial IoT, Synaptics is this month going into production with the first silicon in a planned family of ultra-low-power chips, called Katana, a name for a type of samurai sword. The big problem that Synaptics and Eta are trying to solve is making really, really low-power chips that can support applications written in machine learning frameworks such as Google's TensorFlow. 

"Areas where we are differentiating is in low-power for voice and audio neural network operation, and this hybrid platform that will do both audio and image processing at micro-watts of power." Competitors' parts, contended Ganju, tend to handle only image or audio processing, not both. 

Synaptics and Eta are helping to fulfill a broad mandate for low-power devices that Google and others have been describing in recent years as a stretch goal for the entire chip field. Of course, Synaptics is not the only company that is developing ultra-low-power parts. Startups are focusing on highly efficient parts for the edge, such as Ambient Scientific of San Jose, California, which claims to be able to re-train neural nets continuously even in low-power mode.See the full story here:


IonQ CEO Peter Chapman on quantum computing adoption, innovation and what’s next

IonQ has a plan to commercialize quantum computing and Peter Chapman is CEO expected to make it happen.

Chapman, son of a NASA astronaut, started working in the MIT AI Lab when he was 16, invented the first sound card for the IBM PC, wrote software for the FAA and led a Ray Kurzweil company to build tools for the blind.
 recently made news for its roadmap and proposing a new performance metric called Algorithmic Qubit.

Simply put, Chapman has been ahead of the technology curve. Chapman joined IonQ in the summer of 2018 because he is betting that quantum computing can achieve Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Here are a few highlights from my conversation with Chapman on the future of quantum computing.

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AI, applied to Accounting: Opening the black box

Justin Adams, whose company Anduin has just launched an AI-enabled accounts receivable platform, insists there is an “art” to billing that must remain in the AR process for it to be meaningful and profitable — the deep knowledge of a client over time, for example, can affect a billing relationship. And Samantha Bowling of Garbelman Winslow CPAs isn’t interested in simply speeding up the audit with AI — she wants to provide an audit of such high quality that it’s unquestionable. These types of service goals can only be achieved by marrying AI with the human professional, with all the professional’s experience, skepticism and emotional intelligence.

The biggest benefit of applying artificial intelligence to audit, for Bowling, is the risk analysis.

“Now that there is a direct link between QuickBooks Online and MindBridge, it automatically connects and does the risk analysis,” Bowling said. “I used to think MindBridge was an audit stamping tool that looked at transactions and identified anomalies, directing our attention and telling us where to look. But I realized it’s actually a great risk assessment tool in the very beginning of an audit.”

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ArchAI: Using AI to automatically detect archaeological sites

ArchAI covers this gap with instant, high accuracy assessment at an early stage. Founder Iris Kramer is using technology developed during her PhD in deep learning and previous degree in archaeology. She combines the two domains to deliver an innovative product that applies the power of AI to the construction industry to deliver rapid results and improved outcomes by automatically detecting archaeological sites on earth observation data.

ArchAI is seeking partnerships with large construction companies, particularly those involved in major infrastructure projects where she can quickly bring significant, scalable benefits. She is also considering the possibility of bringing on board a co-founder with either an established reputation and connections at board level within the construction industry or extensive experience in using deep learning and would be interested to hear from anyone who fits that profile.

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Taking Udacity to New Heights

At Udacity, we think of the Nanodegree program as a new “fourth degree.” The three common university degrees — the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD — have been with us for more than six-hundred years!  While these programs form a strong foundation for a student’s career, the reality is that technology is moving too fast today to ever be done learning. To be the best, workers need to continuously refresh their skills and learn about the latest technologies in their field.  That’s the role of the Nanodegree program.

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Vuzix’s new microLED smart glasses look like tech you’d actually want to wear on your face

Wearable tech and augmented reality provider Vuzix is back at CES 2021 with another pair of its smart glasses, this time with a new advancement. The latest pair is powered by microLED technology, thanks to a partnership with the Chinese firm Jade Bird Display. MicroLED displays have emerged in recent years as viable alternatives to OLED screens, driving advancements mostly in the television space

Yet, the tech in this context allows for ultra small but powerful display projectors to be fitted into both sides of the smart glasses, which, to Vuzix’s credit, look pretty close to something you’d be comfortable wearing out in public on a daily basis. 

Combined with Vuzix’s waveguide tech and its display engine optics for mapping the image onto the inside of the glass, the result is an impressive-looking gadget that can project a stereoscopic monochrome or color image onto both lenses at a variety of pixel densities and resolutions, depending on the software requirements.

Vuzix’s smart glasses, which are more in the realm of heads-up displays than true AR, are aimed more toward the enterprise, especially after Intel acquired a 30 percent stake in the Rochester, New York-based company back in 2015.

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